It was Christmas and I was alone in Da Nang. I decided to spend my first Christmas as a nomad reading on the shore of the river.
I was on a bench, with my earphones on, when a girl asks me if she can sit down. “Of course, please!” I said and put the earphones back.
She stayed for a while, then left. She came back with two coconut juices. “Aaaaah … she want us to talk” … the dummy realises. She was a university assistant lecturer, teaching information technology at a local university.
In our 20 minutes conversation, an idea sparked: What if we would go to the nearby town of Hoi An, 30 km away from Da Nang. I was finding excuses to say no. I was afraid. I was coming from China and was aware of some nasty scams with girls inviting you for a tea. She was also hesitating.
We decided to go. We had to take her motorcycle. On the way, she insisted that I drive. I didn’t drive a motorcycle for 15 years, it was dark and it was Vietnam. I drove from the back.
We got to Hoi An which was a charming little town. A canal with floating lights. Some theatre/dance performance in the street, further down a game I never heard of. Alien beauty. We stopped to have dinner on the side of the canal. Here are three pictures I took with my crappy phone:
And here is one from the internet that ilustrates how I saw it:
We spent around two hours and we got back. The experience was surreal. There was no scam, no hidden intention. This little experience gave me a well needed reset and I hold it dear as a reference of the type of moments solo traveling offers.
This was last year’s Christmas present. This year I’m in Brazil, 17 600 km from Vietnam, almost on the other side of Earth.
This year I spent the Christmas alone in a hostel. Well … not alone, with three dogs. Even the owner left :-)) … but I spoke with dear friends from Romania and that was my present for this year.
Feliz Natal do Brasil